Open Streets: New proposal would turn major Hamilton roads into urban parks
Published April 27, 2022 at 3:31 pm
A new proposal from the city’s economic development department would temporarily turn major Hamilton streets into linear urban parks.
The open streets recommendation would see the closure of the future Light Rail Transit (LRT) corridor on King Street, from Gage Park to Gore Park, and parts of Main and Barton streets for one day and allow businesses, not-for-profits, and community groups to organize activities in defined locations.
The proposal emphasizes that “the pedestrianization” will take place in the form of an “Open Streets Temporary Linear Urban Park as opposed to a traditional street festival.”
The key distinction from a street festival is that an open streets event would not involve full road closures, and allow for the remainder of the corridor to function as an open space for cycling, rollerblading, scootering, running, and walking.
“The recommendation is based on examples from other cities who have established temporary urban parks and use this type of policing, which requires fewer resources, allowing for the feasibility of operating the program,” reads the proposal.
The city’s general issues committee will be presented with the recommendation on May 4.
If approved by council, two open streets pilot events could take place this summer at no additional cost to taxpayers.
Hamilton has hosted many smaller-scale open streets events. From 2009 to 2016, an organization called Open Streets Hamilton hosted events on James St. North, which typically covered 2 km of road. What is being proposed for 2022 would be twice as large.
One of the more famous open streets events takes place in Bogota, Columbia. Since 1974, the city has closed major streets to vehicular traffic on Sundays to allow pedestrians and cyclists to move about in the city. Today the event covers 122 km of streets.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising